Radiogaga

Early this morning, I got up, made some coffee and sat down to knit and listen to myself on the radio. Well, I can’t make the radio here pick up any FM, so I listened to the radio on the internet, and sat here and knit. Me and the deer.

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I told everyone to listen at 7:30, but it turns out that the news is on at 7:30, so I got everyone up 5 minutes earlier than they needed to, which made me feel really guilty, since it’s the weekend and everything. I sat here listening to the news and suddenly realized that my interview was going to follow an item about how the Ontario Government is increasing colorectal cancer testing. In my anxiety ridden state, I started to wonder about how that was going to influence how people thought of me, or knitting. The closer it got to my interview time the more all I could think was “Stop saying rectum! Stop talking about rectums!” I felt awful, and then they said that colorectal cancer is the 2nd leading sort of cancer in Ontario and then I felt much worse because I suddenly realized that all this rectum-colonoscopy talk was clearly life and death and it obviously needs to be mentioned, and probably people are dying because lots of people, not just me, sit around thinking “Stop talking about rectums!” and then, well. It’s not good.

Then I started to worry that after this important item about this important thing, that I was going to sound flip and silly. I began to wonder if people would think I was callous, rambling on and on about knitting when there were people dying. I tried to remember if I’d mentioned colorectal screening. I was pretty sure I hadn’t, although I did think I’d said “arse”. That might help. I cursed. Why hadn’t anyone told me on Thursday morning that there was going to be this news item (I had, in my aforementioned anxiety, forgotten the nature- or even the definition of “news”) I could have at least said something about rectums. I could have suggested knitting to cope with the stress of an impending colonoscopy. Now here I was, going to be all flip and giggly about stupid things.

Giggly? Oh man. I had probably laughed too much, and my laugh is awful. I sound like a horse and I laugh at my own jokes. For crying out loud, this is why I’m a writer. Nobody can hear me laugh. This was going to be disastrous. At least it’s not the newspaper, I thought to myself as my world descended a notch deeper on the freakout scale. At least I can’t be misquoted on the radio. I began to plan how long I could stay here in the woods. Until the outrage over my giggly cancer mocking interview died down at least. Until the publicist stopped hunting me like a wild dog in a sheep pen, until the children could go back to school. I wondered how long it would be before anyone at the CBC would speak to me again. £¢∞§!!! I’d probably blown any chance I ever had of charming Rick Mercer at a party. Not that we go to the same parties, but we might have, if I hadn’t of screwed up the entire interview and laughed in the face of COLORECTAL CANCER. What kind of a person am I! What was I thinking! I can’t go on the radio, I can barely get up a road with sled of red wine. Does red wine cause colorectal cancer. Damn. Should I get one one of the screening tests? Can you knit during a colonoscopy? Was there any point in saving myself now that I had offended all of Canada and made everyone hate me, humiliated my children and ended my career with one interview on the CBC?

I started to feel sort of sweaty, and I knit and knit, faster and faster and suddenly they had stopped talking about rectums, and for a second, I thought maybe they would cancel it themselves. That maybe Karen Gordon was sitting in the studio right that minute, listening to the cancer thing and thinking “Holy crap. I can’t put this on now” and then before I could call her and say “Don’t do it, don’t air that interview. I’ve had a moment of remarkable clarity and I can see now that I’m an insensitive raving lunatic.” It was on.

I think it was ok…although I did laugh too much, but I think not so much that I can’t go home. I don’t think I offended any major groups, but I suppose I’ll have to wait to see if the email starts. I have to tell you though, that I’ve totally remembered why I don’t listen to myself on the radio. Raving lunatic. Check.

I can do it

On Tuesday, at yoga class (where I go to a private class with my mum, my sister, my sister-in-law, my mother-in-law, my next door neighbour and Rachel H.) our really clever teacher asked us to do something very hard. It was an arm strengthening pose (which I am all in favour of, wanting the muscles under my biceps to stop waving when I do) and she said “It’s good to do this, to remember that life can be difficult but possible”, and Rachel H. exploded with giggles.

“I’m Ok.” she said. “I’ve got that figured”, and I took the yoga teachers side, and said “Yeah, but it’s good to know it physically and not just emotionally” and Rachel laughed, that way that people laugh when they know that a statement like that is totally going to come back to bite you hard on the hind parts.

Well today I got my come-uppance. Today was challenging. I got up early, packed up all my stuff and Joe took me to the CBC building downtown to do an interview for Fresh Air. (If you’re in the area, listen at 7:30 (HA!) EST on Saturday to hear the interview with Karen Gordon. If you’re not in Canada you can listen to CBC internet if you like.) Work completed, we took to the highway in Joe’s mum’s car (thanks Carol) he drove me North East for almost four hours to return me to the house in the woods where I can think straight, be alone and finish my book. This trip is the second wave, planned to compliment the first trip up here, and to allow me to manage the fact that the kids are off this week for “March Break” which is what Canadians call “Spring Break” to avoid having to kill ourselves out of disappointment that it’s really not spring, but I digress.

We headed up here, and truly, it was not spring.

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It was white-out conditions on the highway for much of the way, and it was when things looked most dismal that the thought first occurred to Joe and I. “Damn. I hope the plow has been.” As we considered what we were up against, our trepidation only grew. If the plow had not been, then there was no way to drive up to the house. If we couldn’t drive up to the house, we would have to hike in all of my stuff. Six days in the woods demands a lot of stuff. Water (the well water has not been tested) food, yarn, clothes….. it was a lot, and carrying it a kilometre appealed about as much as licking yaks does. We repeated the mantra all the way up. Please plow. Please plow. Please plow.

We arrived, and our hearts sank. Not only had the plow not been today, it was worse. The plow had clearly not been in some time, and there has been an easy 50cm (20 inches) of snow since then. We both stared. We were both agog. Joe looked at the clock. It was late. Later than it should have been and he had to get back to the city for a gig. it was really, really important that he leave, and soon…but how was I going to get all the stuff up?

We decided that Joe had time to make the 2k (slightly over a mile) hike in and out… once. We loaded him up like a pack mule with the heavy stuff I couldn’t do without, I took the perishables that wouldn’t last if they froze in the car, and we set out.

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Dudes. It sucked. The snow was deep. Way deep, and we didn’t have snowshoes and we had seriously overestimated what we could carry and by the first half km, we were both thinking about lying face down in the snow. Never before has a string of such filthy language been strung together by two people. This was, and if you don’t live in a snowy place, you might not know this sort of snow…. Exhausting snow. It’s the deep fluffy sort with the hard crust on top, so each step punches through and mires you in, then requires you to extricate your leg, only to embed it with the same force and hopelessness with the next step. It took forever, and the only reason we did not cry was because neither of us wanted to look weak to the other. Abject misery.

We finally made the house in the distance and were stunned to discover it damn near buried.

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(Note location of door, marked by yellow arrow.) With this image came the knowledge that I shall be shovelling until my arms ache, which was hardly the main issue, since only half of my supplies had made it to the house. Joe and I dropped off the stuff, began to trudge dejectedly back to the car (still snowing) and Joe had a brainwave. We ransacked the place and found a superslider. One of those round sleds for careening down hills at a thousand km an hour and scaring the hell out of your mother. Joe rooted around his stuff (he made a record at this house in the summer, and as with all engineers, he left stuff in his wake) until he found some spare wire.

He rigged it to the sled to make a handle, and we headed back (heavenhelpuswhatkindofforsakencountryisthis) to the car. When we got there (I will spare you the gnashing of teeth) we made a decision about what absolutely had to go up to the house with me. (Food. Wine. Yarn.) and what could be stashed by the town road in snowproof garbage bags until I could stagger back for it. We loaded up the sled with what I could pull (or thought I could pull) and Joe took this picture:

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and left.

I began my time alone, towing food and six days worth of water up the hill (there is surprisingly more up than down.) I will say this, and only this of the 1km hike in with that stuff. IT SUCKED.

I abandoned stuff all the way up to the house. At the 1/4 way mark, the wire on the sled broke

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and I said some language that was unladylike in the extreme. I retied the wire and abandoned a couple of kilos and kept staggering. At the halfway mark the wire snapped again and this time, I was going uphill and I dare not write of the thoughts that I had as the sled slid backwards down the hill, and away from me. I will tell you that my reaction scared birds from nearby trees. I swore all the way back to the sled, abandoned more stuff and retied the knot again. My foul mouthed self and I made it about another 300 steps (I was counting) before it snapped again, and this time I lay in the snow for a moment and may have wept a few tears. Then I abandoned more crap. (At this point I was wondering WHY I HAD SO MUCH CRAP but I suspect I shall desire drinking water sometime tomorrow and go retrieve it.) By the time I made the house, scrambled my way in, hauled the crap in and lit a fire, all I could think of to do was think up filthy cruel nicknames for the plow guy, and lie on the floor.

I’ve recovered somewhat and I want you to know that as I am a woman of some sense, I did not abandon the things that one really needs to survive in the woods.

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Damn straight. I’ll go get the rest of my stuff tomorrow, and Rachel H?

Sorry I laughed.

Tech-joke

We are changing our home internet service to get everything (phone, cable, internet, cell) onto one service so we can save some money. There’s going to be some downtime today while we switch from one service to another. Here are some things that have been said about this switch.

It is going to be seamless.

It is going to be easy.

It is going to be fast.

Excuse me. I can’t type when I’m laughing this hard.

One point in the crazy column

This was a birthday weekend. My sister Erin, my comrade Ken and my daughter Sam (who turned 14 and is probably the only one of them who wants their age mentioned) celebrated their family birthdays together at my mum’s house. McPhee’s are a frugal people and we have a tendency to lump birthdays together. Everybody gets together, we sing the birthday song with three names in it. (“Happy Birthday, dear ErinKenandSammy” or “IanStephanieandBonnie” – except we never agree on an order ahead of time so that part is always a mess.)

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(Note my mum carefully supervising Hanks carrying of the flaming cake.)

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(Note Hank’s expression. It clearly says “I can’t believe this isn’t my cake.” )

Everyone had a great time, but I blew it with my sisters gift. She was supposed to be getting the Urban Aran that I’ve been working on, and I didn’t finish. It wasn’t even a near miss either, All I have is two sleeves and a half of the back. There was a huge storm here this weekend, where it snowed for about 36 hours, and Joe and I rented a bunch of movies and when I wasn’t writing (that is still killing me) I knit. That means that I had more time than I was expecting to have and I still didn’t make it.

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Araucania Nature Wool Chunky (In some navy blue colour. Cannot locate ball band because I am under the impression my whole life is falling apart because I am 20 days from a deadline. I got it at The Purple Purl. I wonder if they remember?)

I feel really bad about it for some reason. I was thinking of Erin as this years “big winner”. I don’t knit a lot of sweaters for people (too big, too expensive, too much of a chance that I’ll do all that knitting and spend all that money and they won’t get it or love it.) and here I am, with this really fantastic gift for her and I miss the deadline and she gets sweater pieces, (which I then took back) it was sort of anti-climactic. Really anti-climactic. Like, it felt like a crappy present (to me, I’m hoping not to her, or I’ll be really miserable.) I’ve given stuff on the needles before. A lot, actually, but this one feels like a real bummer.

I’ve been thinking about what’s different. How come I can usually hand someone a half knit hat and take it back and not feel at all bad but this one feels awful? Are the stakes higher with a sweater? Is this a case of “the bigger they are, the harder they fall” so of course a sweater hurts more than a hat? Is it because I know that non-knitters don’t see the potential in wool the way we do, so I know that giving them a present that’s half wool might disappoint them, even if the eventual sweater will delight them?

I’m wondering if it’s because I really, honestly thought (because I am clearly mad) that I would finish it? I really did. On Brooklyntweed’s blog he says that it took him 17 days to knit this and so I thought (because there is REALLY SOMETHING WRONG WITH MY MIND) that 11 days was almost the same as 17 days, and that 11 days is especially almost the same as 17 days if you are focussed hard on a book deadline, knitting other stuff for other birthdays and generally running sort of short on time in general. (Have I mentioned it’s the March Break and the kids are home for 9 days?

In retrospect, I’m not surprised I didn’t make it, I’m absolutely shocked though, that I thought I would.

Contagious

Meg (16) is going away for the weekend, and this morning she was pulling together her knitting. (The young one has much to learn. She packed her clothes last night but left the knitting until this morning.) She chose a handwarmer pattern from this book – which actually sees a lot of play in our house, and went through her stash to come up with a skein of yarn, and packed the yarn and the book in her bag. While she was upstairs getting dressed, I started thinking. Meg’s a pretty quick knitter. Three hour drive up, weekend at her friends cottage, three hour drive back. Hmmm.

When Meg came back downstairs, I had tucked another ball of yarn and some appropriate needles into a ziplock and put it in her bag.

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“What’s this?” she asked.

“Extra yarn.” I answered.

“Mum, I already packed yarn”.

“I know, but there’s six hours of car and 48 hours of relaxing and all you packed was yarn to make one pair of worsted weight handwarmers and that’s not a lot of knitting. What if you stay for an extra day? What if you knit extra fast? What if the weather is bad and you spend the whole weekend inside?” It made me just sweaty thinking about it. I mean, who doesn’t pack a little insurance yarn? What kind of mother would I be if I just let her go without taking enough yarn….

“Mum?”

“Yeah Meg?”

“Try not to spread the disease.”

Scuttle

I feel a little like the blog is hopeless right now, and I hope you’ll all bear with me over the next couple of weeks while my attention wanders. This book is sucking up almost everything I’ve got (my sanity, my time, knitting and otherwise) and if I sit down to write or work, my focus keeps going back there, not here…which is a shame, sort of, because this is usually way more fun. (You can work on a book all you like, but when you finish a story nobody leaves comments telling you what they think, or if you suck, or if your grammar is pathetic – not that I’m sure that the last one there really helps me a whole lot, but I suppose it’s still feedback.) As a result of the cosmic life-sinkhole that is that last few terrifying weeks of a book, I don’t have much to show you. Just this.

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This is a redo of the sock I started the other day, the one that tragically, hit the frogpond going a thousand miles an hour while it was still mostly in the toe phase. The yarn is STR lightweight, in Ravenscroft from Tina’s (sort of new) Raven Clan series. (It’s blacker in person. I lost a camera war.) I was telling her that I wanted to make an elegant cabled sock with my precious skein, and from nowhere, she produced this pattern by Sivia Harding. (I worship Sivia, and the Diamond Fantasy pattern is one of my favourites reasons. An edge produced as you go. Surely the woman is so blessed by the knit fates that she walks on silver slippers. My version is here.)

Turns out that she’s putting together a book of patterns to support the series, and this will be one of them. It’s not ready for release yet, and I said that I would sort of test-knit it…. if we use the words “test knit” here to mean “I shall attempt to tell the difference between the millions of mistakes I make all the time from the very slim possibility that Sivia has made one”. So far, the pattern is perfect, and I am stupid, exactly as expected. I made two mistakes reading the pattern, which I would like to pretend is because it isn’t formatted yet, and is really because I, as I mentioned, am apparently as smart as a streetcar. I failed to actually read the pattern and assumed that the first size was a size small, which it wasn’t. (It will be, by the time it gets to you.) It was a medium, and I managed to ignore virtually every instinct I had that the beast was too big for a really good long time. Then I arsed up the twisted rib. (Knit one purl two. Tricky that. )

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(The colour here is a little closer.) So far, the second time appears to be the charm, although my ability to reinterpret Sivia’s genius into error should not be underestimated, especially while I’m flipped out this far on a deadline. (Proof: Last night I had to frog the back of the Urban Aran three times for a failure to count. TO THREE.)

Sigh. I can’t wait until this is over. The minute this ends, the tour starts (I’ll be adding an Oak Lawn IL event later today, although details are here for you if you can’t wait for me to wrestle the server into compliance) and should I survive that, I have some primo time set aside for gibbering in the foetal position. Good times, big plans.

Deer don’t talk back

Joe came and fetched me yesterday (which answers the question of how I got where I was, drop off, and pick up. No car while I was there.) and brought me home ahead of another nasty storm. It was the day I was supposed to come home anyway, and though I had actually entertained the idea of staying for a few more days, with the way the weather was looking, if I didn’t get out yesterday, it might have been Monday before I could bust a move out of there, and I absolutely had to be home for Friday. (Turns out, when I did get home last night, ahead of the storm, that the reason I absolutely had to be home on Friday got rescheduled to Monday. (When I run the world, things will be more reliable.)

A big storm did indeed arrive, and is still arriving as I type and I am so glad to be home. I missed everybody so much, even my little cat, and I am not the sort of woman who normally thinks very much about her cat. It’s a testament to how very alone I was up there, that one dwells on the creature comforts of home, and the creatures that go with it. (Until, at least, the creatures remind me why it was I left in the first place.) For now, it is very true that absence has made my heart grow fonder, and I’m enjoying the family’s comings and goings. Compared to listening to the roof bury me in the woods, the sound of Joe shovelling us out today is a pleasure. (Especially since the former means I shall be shovelling, and the later clearly does not.) I cleaned up the kitchen last night and (somebody note the date and time, this shall likely never occur again) I enjoyed it. Laundry? Just hand it to me. I’d be happy to put it in for you. As challenging as the last 6 days were, as lonely as I was and as skittish, I surprised myself by feeling rather winsome yesterday when we left, and feeling positive about the idea of doing it again. There’s something about being in charge of your whole self and it’s survival, with no help from anyone, that feels a little (dare I say it?) brave.

I was in the woods in the easiest possible way, with a bathroom and a stove and frozen pizza, and it still made me feel like a strong and competent woman. (When I wasn’t scared stupid.) It also made me talk to deer for company after only 6 days, so I don’t know what the long term effects on my psyche would be.

What did I knit? Surprisingly little. Like I said, knitting and typing aren’t very compatible, and neither are cooking or stomping in the woods, and I did a lot of all of them. Still, I managed a bit.

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One pair finished socks, STR mediumweight, in a colourway that’s a one of a kind “rare gem”.

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My own pattern (such as it is) invented on the fly. The 2×2 rib grows into two rows of twisted stitches along the fronts of the legs, which then become plain rib again on the feet. Grafton Fibers needles, 2.75mm.

I started another pair of socks in STR Lightweight (Ravenscroft), but you should ignore them because I screwed them up bigtime and I’ve already frogged them. Forget they were ever here.

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Last, but certainly not least, The Urban Aran (Cardiganized.) Two sleeves.

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Want a good laugh? I thought this (and the black socks above) would be finished by Sunday. Seriously. I took three more skeins of sock yarn away with me so that when I just whipped through the sweater and socks (You know, knitting at 15 times my normal pace, just because I’m not home) I would need at least three more pairs of socks on top of finishing the socks above, plus the sweater, plus the black socks. (IN SIX DAYS.)

I crack me up too.

In case you thought I was alone

Yesterday the weather changed abruptly. A storm of snow, freezing rain and rain (in that order) blew up from the south and after a tumultuous afternoon and night today the temperature is above zero and I think every single animal around here got the same message. “Go for a walk you moron, it won’t last”. It’s like a gift designed to make sure that you keep believing in spring. Today on my hike my hands didn’t freeze the second I took my mittens off and I even experienced the briefest moment of temptation where I considered taking off my hat. The snow on the top of the ice out there is melting, which means that if I’m very lucky, tomorrow when it snaps back to freezing again the river will be glassy and smooth, and I may see some iceboats.

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I was back to hiking the woods this afternoon, and I think every other animal around here was doing the same thing. Crows heckled me from the trees, I even saw an eagle soaring on the warm windy air. I saw a snowshoe hare (by the way? BIG BUNNY) and came pretty close to a big deer who (although I could not see the parts in question to confirm this) had to have been a buck. He stared me down, turned his whole body to face me and stomped his feet. There are no records of people being killed by deer, so I didn’t retreat out of fear, but respect. He’s a full time resident. I’m just visiting. Clearly, these are his woods. The delicate hoofprints of the deer are everywhere, sprinkled like confetti,

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and there’s other stuff too. This track is deer like, but made by something larger and heavier by comparison, and that only leaves moose I think.

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Or these ones, which after careful consultation with Hinterland Who’s Who. (If you’re Canadian, you just had a flashback) looks like it’s the snowshoe hare.

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These ones, I have no idea about. None. I’m wondering if it’s my friend the bobcat? I bet one of you guys knows for sure.

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Check this last one out. It looks to me like the strangest track, so I’m wondering if it’s a compound track (two body parts? Maybe something sat down?)

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I’m hoping it’s a compound track, because dudes, a footprint bigger than my hand? That’s a track big enough to keep this knitter out of the woods. Tomorrow, knitting.

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I promise. I know this week has been a little light on the wool content, but it’s hard to type and knit at the same time.

Walls

The snow that fell the other evening has had the effect of making me feel, at least temporarily, even more isolated, although it did remarkable things to further beautify the woods around me.

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(I feel sort of dumb posting another woods picture, since I now that to you the must appear more or less the same, and I sort of imagine that now, as I post yet another picture of the snowy woods that you’re scrolling by them faster and faster, thinking “YES. I get it. Woods. Trees. Snow. MOVE ON.” but I just can’t help it. To me, up here with these woods as the defining feature of the whole experience, the changes from one day to the next are huge. To me, the woods look very different with more snow in them. Remarkably different enough to take endless pictures of them and post them here. Bear with me. I’m charmed.

The snow covered all the deer track, leaving me unable to journey into the woods until they re-establish their meandering routes, and covered the path that I had been pounding out for myself, should I need to escape in the night. (I’ve decided that the real source of my anxiety out here is not the woods, but the deadly combination of being a person possessed of a bad ass imagination and the woods. A slightly less inventive person would be way, way more comfortable.) I’m uncertain about what would provoke me to attempt to escape into the night, but I felt good about having my options open, and for a while there, they were closed.

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The snow landed, heavy, soft and white and by morning when I ventured out, there wasn’t a single surface that wasn’t blanketed. Then the sun came out, and the dark, sloped metal roof of this place started to do (rather unexpectedly, if you are me and didn’t give a moments thought to the function of a dark, sloped metal roof) what that sort of roof is supposed to do, and that is to shed snow. The roof heats up (even in the cold) enough that when the sun comes out the snow all slides right off the thing. In chunks, in pieces, in great huge slides. It pokes itself over the edges, then when enough mass is hanging over, thwumps to the ground in grand crashes.

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The first chunk falling off creates instability in the rest, which then goes too, and within about 10 minutes the massive roof had shed about 90% off it’s thick layer of snow. The remaining 10% clings on tenaciously, then leaps off when it sees you are at your most relaxed, or – in one rather stunning and well targeted shot by the roof, onto my head as I passed under it to the door. (Remember when you’re a kid and you’re at school and one of your buddies (or someone who isn’t your buddy at all, but is simply a powerful playground player) gave you a snowjob? A generous mittened handful of snow right down the back of your coat. Getting dumped on by the roof was like that only multiplied by about a thousand percent. I was cold for hours and had to dry out my coat by the fire. I had snow in places I didn’t even know I had places.)

When I arrived here, I noticed that the house was surrounded by drifts of snow in odd places. Big drifts, standing a metre or so from the house. That’s odd, because if the wind is going to push snow up against something, it usually blow it right up against things, and not to the same depth on both sides of a building. “Strange” thought I, but since so much of this has been strange, I didn’t give it more thought. Yesterday though, I got it.

The snow that falls off the roof makes walls. Walls of snow all around the house.

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I went out and shovelled for a long time at the front door. (That’s where I got the snowjob) and noted, with both astonishment and trepidation, that at the front of the house, where the kitchen window is, and where the longest part of the roof sheds,

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That if it snows again. I won’t be able to see out the windows. Snow walls. I’m increasingly surrounded.

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Do you hear what I hear

Yesterday was all about noise. The temperatures came up to a balmy -10 (plus wind chill, but I’m trying not to focus on that, except for the calculation of frostbite risk) and I only went out a few times, and not for long. I can stand the cold if it’s still, but the wind drives the cold right into me and gives me earaches, even with hat (and hood.) I did hike to the gate and see if the road was still there.

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It is. It only seems like there nobody left but me. The warmer temperatures made it possible for all sorts of things to happen. For starters, the deer were out in force. I guess they had largely hunkered down in the extreme cold, something that only proves to me that the know what they’re doing out here. I’d be sitting in the house writing or knitting and hear the sound of branches, then look up and see them looking right back. They’re bold as brass as long as you don’t go outside. Around dinner I was making a salad and two of them watched me rather intently through the window, I could almost imagine their conversation. “Dude, is that greenfood? Where did that small human get the greenfood? She looks warm in there. Can we get warm? Can we get the greenfood?” I was sort of nervous about opening the door after that, since I thought that their lack of opposable thumbs and therefore, the ability to turn doorknobs, left them with only the solution of rushing the door when I opened it.

Knitting in the early afternoon, sorry.. knitting what? Oh. Right. Knitting blog. Forgive me. Knitting on a pair of socks in the afternoon,

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you’ve seen these before, sort of. I had them started and got all the way to the heel when I realized accepted that the yarn, for which I’d misplaced the label, wasn’t actually STR in Lightweight, but STR in mediumweight. Knit at my standard gauge for socks, which is pretty firm to begin with, in this heavier yarn they were practically foot armour. They have been yanked back, and are now being knit on larger needles (My Grafton Fiber ones. I love these.) with fewer stitches. Much better. I have no idea why it took a half a sock to deal with it. I knew it was wrong and I just kept on going. Depressing lack of intellect. In any case, my poor intellect and i were knitting on those socks, and suddenly there was a huge crash. Then another… it went on and on, and it was so sudden and loud that it scared the wits of me. I ran from window to window, it was (remember, poor intellect) several frightened minutes before I actually saw what was happening. The house had been bedecked with massive icicles.

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(These were taken the first day, before these big icicles got massive)

When the sun and higher temps warmed up the metal roof, all of them came crashing off, very nearly simultaneously. I can’t tell you what went through my head before I figure it out, but it involved deer on the roof.

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It took me a while to settle down after that, but settle I did, (scotch would have been faster than tea, but I didn’t have any) and shortly after I’d gotten a grip back on myself, there was an earthquake. Or a bomb, or Something with a capital S. Out of the blue, there was an enormous CRACK-SMASH. It was just one of the biggest noises ever. It literally shook the ground and rattled the windows. It was all I could do not to throw myself under the desk. I may have screamed. I’ve been a little on edge anyway, and this noise was so massive that I lost it. I looked out the window, thinking that….well. I don’t know what I thought I would do, actually, the noise was so big that I can’t imagine that whatever made it would be something i could defend myself from.

Off to the side, at the edge of the river was sort of a rising column of snow or mist or something. Tree fall? Ice Crack? The ice makes some pretty trippy noises, and icecrack can be crazy loud, but I’m going to go with tree fall.

Scared me half to death. I tried to hike down there later, but the deer were uninterested and hadn’t blazed a trail for me, so I remained curious.

The whole day went on like that. The wind made noise, the trees made noise, deer made noise. Branches fell, the ice growled… an enormous fight was waged by crows in the tree by the door. it was a crazy amount of noise, a super loud day. By the nighttime, I had just about gotten used to it, and as I was knitting (I swear I’m writing. I think I just only hear stuff while I’m knitting.) I suddenly realized that things had changed again.

There was no noise. None. I went to the door and went out, and I understood straightaway.

Snow. Snow was falling all around me, and whatever noise the world around me was inclined to make was wholly muffled by the snow. I tipped my head back and watched it swirl out of the darkness.

Then I went inside. It may have been beautiful, but it was #$ª%^^£¢∞§**ing cold out there.